K-State Women's Basketball Hosts Media Day on Monday

Sophomore Ashia Woods gets her photo taken during K-State's basketball media day on Monday.

Oct. 15, 2012

Coach Patterson Press Conference | Behind the Scenes of Media Day | Monday Morning Practice | Photo Gallery

Kansas State held its annual media day on Monday at Bramlage Coliseum. K-State head coach Deb Patterson addressed the media in a press conference in the Legends Room, followed by player interviews and photos on the arena floor.

The following is a transcript from today's media day.

Kansas State Women's Basketball Coach and Player Quotes

Head Coach Deb Patterson
Opening statement…
“It is exciting to be back in the gym.  We started practice on our second week of on court drills.  We have a young team but, we have two very exceptional guards that we will have on the court this year, in Brittany Chambers who I think is all-American caliber player.  She is one of the best guards in the country.  She is also, I think, K-State’s next level player meaning WNBA.   Mariah White is a tremendous point guard, great athlete, great assist player.  Obviously, we will be building off of those two.  We are very small this year in size and I hope the young players take the window of opportunity that they have to impact the program early in the year with major minutes and extensive playing time.  ”

On new girls coming in …
“It is exciting to look at some of the young players that we have had in the gym these past two weeks.  I think that the first young lady that comes to mind is Brianna Craig.  She is from Nebraska and she is a tremendous athlete.  I think she has the potential to be one of the finest guards that we have ever had in our program if she really grabs a hold and works extensively hard through the course of her career.  She will play major minutes for us early this year.  Secondly, Ashlyn Knoll, she is our junior college transfer from Seward County Community College.  She is one of our biggest players stretching at about six foot.  She has great feel for the game and as she learns the speed to which you have to defend and the physicality of this level; I think she will be a factor for us this season.  Kelly Thomson from Riley County is unfortunately down with an ACL tear.  That was a huge blow for us but, I have great confidence in our physician and training staff.   I look forward to having her start her four year career a year late.  Marissa Elis, from the Kansas City area, is an athletic perimeter player who will play the one and two for us.  There will be a lot of responsibility on her shoulders after losing Kelly Thomson.  I think she will be up to the task.  She was a young lady who suffered two ACL injuries in high school so the physicality and the speed of the game will be a big transition for her.  Kendra Spresser, she is another player from Seward County Community College, she is a small guard that will look to transition to the practice element of the game early in her career. Stacey Malone, another 5’11, six foot very athletic small forward.  Stacey has a great deal to learn about the offensive element of the game but she is a good athlete and in time she will be one of the more explosive players.  Athletically, she will remind a lot of people of Branshea Brown .  She will bring power to the game.”  

On Brittany Chambers
“Brittany has had a tremendous career through her development.  She started with a lot of responsibility on her shoulders at a young age and it has matured and grown her.  She has grown from a player who has had to have the ball in her hands a hundred percent of the time to be effective, to one who can play with or without it now. It is going to be important this year that she does have the ball in her hands a lot.  I will look for her a lot to initiate a lot on offense.  She is a great competitor, one of the best we have ever had here in our gym at Kansas State.  I think it has gone understated just how great she is.  She has just matured in every way as a leader and I have great confidence in her. She understands how we need her to play and she has no back down mentality.”

On changing strategy due to size…
“Everything has changed for us.   We are extremely young and sort of down in numbers.  We will need to be more creative.  We will have to spread the floor some and be more effective with our quickness and speed.  We will have to find some creative ways on both ends of the floor to be effective.  That will put more pressure on our defense.  We are working on this early in the gym.  I like the work ethic of the team.  If we can continue to work with that ethic and passion the scheming will take care of itself. “

On Chantay Caron…
“Chantay has got a great body.  She has the potential to be extremely physical.  I think one of the areas where I hope she will make an impact is offensively.  She has extended her range she can shoot the three now which I think will help us and will be a need, because we are so small now we will have to open the court up.  We will need her to be a finisher.  I think she has learned to be a tougher player in practice.  If she continues to grow on her game I think we will see her on the floor a great deal.”

On the leadership and growth of Mariah White
“Mariah looks really good right now on the floor and real confident. To be honest with you, I think the fact that we will be small this year will create a lot of scoring opportunities off the dribble for Mariah. With Brandy and Jalana, the penetration lanes looked a little different and at times Mariah had a little “stop, go” to her game and I think this year it is going to be all go. We are going to put her in position to really use her motor. She is smart, she is one of the best passers, on the move, that we have ever had here at Kansas State. She kind of reminds a bit of the kind of assist game you might have seen out of Shalee Lehning. We will need her to be very , very strong and physical, defensively.  I think she is one of the best on-the-ball defenders in the league. We are just going to need Mariah to continue to grow in her confidence as a scorer because this year, with so many young players, Mariah at six points per game is not going to be enough. We are going to need to stretch her to ten or twelve points per game and I think she is looking forward to that challenge.”

Senior Guard Brittany Chambers
On this year’s expectations…
“I feel like there are a lot of expectations for any season, especially with seniors coming in from their junior year trying to prove themselves and to have a great last season. I think my big expectation personally comes from leading such a young group. I’m excited to play with such a fun group of girls but I’m really trying to get them in the gym and get them at the level they need to be at this year. That’s where most of my expectations come from personally.”

On Coach Deb Patterson talking about Chambers as an all-American…
“It’s great to know she feels like that about me. I’m very lucky to have a coach who’s very confident in me and has my back through everything. It’s great to hear those things from her. I don’t look at it as daunting. Obviously that would be unbelievable to get, but if I don’t, that wouldn’t make or break me. I just want to come into this senior season as the best I can be for my team.”

On being a small team this season…
“I was nervous last year coming into this year not knowing, but I have one of the best coaching staffs that could be around us and our team. Anything we have as a challenge, they find a way to make it a positive in some way. This year we’re finding ways to work with what we have and make it a positive in how we play.”

Senior Guard Mariah White
On her thoughts about the team…
“I am excited, a lot of people think that we are undersized, but we see that as a challenge for us. We take on that challenge and we have what a lot of teams do not. We have a lot of quickness and speed.”

On the new system presenting more opportunities for her or Brittany Chambers…
“I think a little bit of both. If I can do more, of course it will open up opportunities for Brittany and if Brittany can do more it will open things up for me and everybody else.”

On their offensive play affecting their success this season…
“Not all of it because all five of us have played together, but a lot of it just because I am an older player and I know a lot more than younger players. I think that is an aspect of me being a leader and that part will affect our success.”

Junior Forward Katya Leick
On the disappointment of her ACL injury…
“I was really looking forward to this season and us as a team.  We were really working hard this summer to work on improvements so it was a disappointment for me and the team. I think they have been working so hard and still are working hard to go hard against all of our opponents and we’ll still be a great team.”

On how it happened…
“We were doing preseason individual workouts, the basic drills that we do every day and it gave out on me.”

On being out for the season…
“I plan to play next season. I plan to come back strong, work real hard and have a good summer. I know as a team we are going to be getting some freshmen coming in and losing some people. But, we are still going to be that K-State Wildcat team that can take anyone on.”

Junior Forward Chantay Caron
On how the preseason has been going…
“Things have been going good so far. We have been practicing a lot and I am excited to move into the new facility.”

On going up against big forwards/centers….
“We have to be strong. We are in the weight room every day getting better, getting bigger.”

On filling in the shoes of Childs and Brown…
“It is going to be hard, but we have a really good team, and our offense is really good this year. We are going to run the floor this year. It is a whole new team, a whole new story.”

Sophomore Guard Haley Texada
On last season preparing her for this season…
“The upperclassmen definitely helped us out a lot. They helped guide us through a lot of situations that we do not have right now since we only have two seniors. I think it is going to be good for us on the court now that we know what to expect more than we did last year.”

On seeing herself more as a leader….
“One thing Coach (Patterson) stresses is always being a leader. Whether you are a sophomore, junior, or senior that is the role you have to play. For the newcomers, I try and help them out as much as I can because I know it is hard as a freshman and they throw a lot of stuff at us.”

Sophomore Guard Ashia Woods
On having a younger team getting more playing time….
“I feel being a younger team a lot of us younger players will have to step up. I hope to be one of those players.”

On working on her game….
“Last year I focused more on defense because I feel defense can get you on the floor, by having less turnovers. Now I want to focus more on offense and scoring and helping my team.”

On being capable of contributing….
“I am working hard every day and I have great coaches here helping me. I have a great opportunity here to become better, and as a team we can get things done.”